A new construction method for prefabricated shell structures

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Shell structures are expensive structures due to their extensive construction time and costs making them unpopular in spite of their material and structural efficiency. Temporary support structures are now based on the weight of the structure without taking into account what the incomplete structure can carry by itself. Structural characteristics of shell structures and modern computational methods do provide a solid platform to optimize the construction procedure of these nature adaptive and esthetically pleasing structures. This would save time and money through exclusion of set up time, reduced scaffolding costs and enabling of simultaneous construction phasing (building under the roof while the roof is being build). Recent research into historical and newly available methods has unveiled methods to nearly exclude the use of temporary support. However, these methods have not been tested on large scale designs and do not prove to be fit for up scaling. In the last five years structural patterning and the influence of a panel pattern on force flow have also come up as a research field for building construction. A combination of features found in past methods and recent research can be joined into an improved modern construction method. To know the minimal amount of supports needed the structure will need to be monitored every step of the construction process. Simultaneously it will have to find the best panel to put in next. To retrieve this information from the ground up, every panel that can possibly be installed will need to be tested. On large scale projects this will be a time costly process. That is why Ir. P. Eigenraam and Msc. S. Luitse have developed their own method: Deconstruction and reversed Deconstruction. Deconstruction is the initial analysis method that works from the top, the complete assembled structure, down. Based on a finite element analysis (FEA) at each iteration it finds the least stressed panel and removes it. This can be compared to finding the loosest block in Jenga. This will continue until the structure is fully deconstructed. This will provide a reversed construction order that can be used to construct the structure with the least amount of stress and deformation. This construction method is called reversed Deconstruction. Although the deconstruction algorithm is still under development first analysis show up to 75% reductions of temporary supports during construction. Further reductions can be done by preassembling parts of the structure. This report will research the possibilities of this analysis and construction method. A historical review of shell construction methods combined with research into force flow through complex free form prefabricated shell structures will provide the pointers and tools. Along these pointers and tools the Deconstruction analysis method will be set up. The method is tested through FEA and concluded upon. It is the search for a smart construction method.